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A state filled with family gatherings, July-August 2022

While we were in Minnesota we stopped for a week, at a cabin that my mom got to visit when she was little. Our Nana's friend "Aqua Nana," and husband "the good fisherman guy," was able to meet us at their family cabin. Nana, Papa, and our Aunt came to visit us for a week at the cabin and a state park nearby.

We had lots of fun going swimming, fishing, a pontoon party, speed boat tubing, and even Pickles learned how to water ski! One other cool thing we got to see was the biggest ball of twine in Darwin, MN. It is 12 feet in diameter, and weighs 17,400 pounds. If you want to learn more check out the Weird Al song about it! We enjoyed getting to stay at the cabin!

Our next stop was Grand Marais, MN, where we were staying with our Dad's sister. We had fun exploring the town and looking at Lake Superior. In the middle of our time there, we drove up the Gunflint Trail and had a family get-together with all of our cousins, aunts and uncles, Oma & Papa all from my Dad's side. We had an awesome day at the alpine slides at Lutsen Mountain. (That was one of my Dad's favorite childhood memories) We even got to go blueberry picking for the Annual Gunflint Trail Blueberry picking contest.

When it was time for the large clan to leave, our Aunt took our family on an ex-"stream" bouldering hike! It was epic! We started out by walking up the stream, then started to boulder on round stones large and small. The walls started to get taller and taller, the stream got a little more narrow, then we turned the corner and what did we find? A pretty waterfall- what do we do now? Well, we climb it, that's what! So up we went. After climbing 4 or so waterfalls, we eventually found the original trail that goes alongside the stream. The hike back took 1/4 of the time, but it was definitely worth the extra time and effort climbing up and over slipper rocks and waterfalls. This was one of our top hikes on our trip!

We also got to go see the Rendezvous Days and Pow Wow in Grand Portage National Monument. They had tents set up with people camping in authentic clothing and camping gear. The children and adults would partake in Lacrosse and other games that would race the clock to see who could carry bales, and start a fire, etc.

Before we left Grand Marais we got to see our Great Uncle and Aunt with their grandkids, that were vacationing from Iowa. It had been a while since we had seen them, but that didn't stop us from all becoming great friends instantly! We biked, scootered, paddle boarded, played at two playgrounds, had a bondfire with hot dogs and smores, and even got to go swimming in their huge hot tub after getting a sweet ice cream treat from Great Uncle!

We had lots of fun with our aunt. We went on a bike ride, had a massage, and played at the park.

After working on our aunt's basement, we got to go to the Naniboujou Lodge for breakfast. We even made some money selling lemonade at the campground.

Sadly, after a month in Grand Marais, our time in Minnesota had to come to an end.

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